Last week, the Washington Budget and Policy Center published a new analysis of I-1631, Washington’s Clean Air and Clean Energy initiative which is on the ballot this fall. The proposal, whose opposition is overwhelmingly funded by Big Oil, will cut Washington’s annual emissions by 25 million tons by 2035 through big investments in clean, renewable energy, electric vehicles like buses and trucks, and expanded energy efficiency and transit. And the Budget and Policy Center found that it would do all of this for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per week--$13/month per household.
But, as always, the forces of the oil-fueled status quo come back to their message—the sky is falling and we cannot afford this. The Washington Policy Center, a right-wing mouthpiece that has never encountered a climate action policy it supports, claims I-1631 will cost the average household between $234 and $305 per year.
Is that number correct? Does it hold up to basic scrutiny? No—it’s flat out wrong. It’s yet another example of opponents being willing to say anything to get their way.
So how wrong is it? If Washington Policy Center’s numbers were correct, then the State of Washington could expect to collect between $695 million and $905 million per year just from individuals. But the state’s projection anticipates that revenue will total $842 million per year, with just $472 million coming from individuals. So Washington Policy Center claims that individuals will pay nearly double the state’s estimate, and more than the total revenue the state expects from all sources.
This isn’t a simple mistake. Washington Policy Center knows full well how the state projects fiscal impacts, and has raised no objections or concerns with the published fiscal projections. This is intentionally misleading.
As the Budget and Policy Center’s analysis concludes, “voters shouldn’t let the overly broad and unrealistically high cost estimate circulated by large oil companies and climate-science deniers dissuade them from approving I-1631 on the November ballot.”
Push back against the deception. Vote Yes on I-1631.